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Medicare news and information

Magazine
Proton-beam centers sprout despite evidence drought
By Jaimy Lee | April 12, 2014 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
Widespread construction of expensive proton-beam therapy centers is galloping ahead, despite warnings from insurers and policy experts who decry the lack of evidence proving that the costly treatment produces better outcomes in prostate cancer patients, its most frequent use.
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Magazine
Physician payment data may drive hospital, insurer decisions
By Joe Carlson | April 12, 2014 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
Insurers, hospitals and fraud investigators will be closely examining HHS' massive release last week of information on 2012 Medicare Part B payments to individual physicians and other providers, seen by many experts as a burgeoning era of transparency in pricing, quality and utilization.
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Magazine
A promising start
By Merrill Goozner, Editor | April 12, 2014 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
Medicare's long-anticipated release of individual physician payments revealed there is huge potential in public use of this newly available data source—although not in the ways most observers expected.
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Magazine
Limits on cancer center access just tip of the iceberg, and other letters
By Modern Healthcare | April 12, 2014 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
The article on restricted access to cancer care is the tip of the iceberg.
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Magazine
Insurers predict Medicare Advantage cuts even as CMS touts rate increase
By Catherine Hollander | April 12, 2014 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
Insurers and Wall Street analysts foresee 2015 payment cuts for Medicare Advantage plans even as the Obama administration, under intense industry lobbying, said last week that it planned to slightly boost rates.
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News
Reform Update: Ryan's budget draws political line for midterm elections
By Rebecca Kern | April 11, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
The House Thursday passed Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's Republican budget proposal, which includes a repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As expected, the vote was along party lines, a 219-205 vote with all Democrats voting no along with 12 Republicans.
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Vital Signs
Another leak on Advantage rates—this time by CMS
By Merrill Goozner | April 11, 2014
Actuaries at the CMS appear to have leaked sensitive financial information about the future direction of Medicare Advantage rates to insurance industry stock market analysts.
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Vital Signs
Doctors' bad paperwork leads to $2B in inappropriate Medicare payments
By Virgil Dickson | April 10, 2014
Many physicians are failing to adequately document the face-to-face visits now required for home-health referrals, which has led Medicare to make $2 billion in inappropriate payments to home-health agencies, according to a report from HHS' Office of the Inspector General.
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News
Some docs welcome CMS data dump
By Andis Robeznieks | April 10, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
This has been a fraught week for physicians as the CMS let loose a database of Medicare payments that allows the media and the public to scour the numbers for signs of fraud and abuse by individual providers. But doctors' responses to the release had much to do with their own circumstances, and...
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News
Billions at stake in tech-driven healthcare economy, PWC survey says
By Joseph Conn | April 10, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Paying only lip service to consumer demands for more convenience and lower costs in healthcare will cost providers billions in lost revenue, a study by the Health Research Institute at PricewaterhouseCoopers concludes.
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